Square plans in need of tweaking

Duane Hicks

The bids for the Rainy Lake Square are in–and it looks like the design will have to be pared down to bring the project cost within budget.
Tenders for the job, which also includes replacing the sidewalk bricks on the 200 block of Scott Street and at the Civic Centre, closed yesterday afternoon, with four contractors submitting bids ranging from $2.38 million to $3.33 million.
The town’s budget for the construction of the Rainy Lake Square project and the two sidewalk replacements is about $1.77 million.
The bids include:
•RML Contracting Ltd. (Thunder Bay)–$2,380,652.62 ($2,690,137.46 incl. HST);
•J & D Penner Ltd. (Oak Bluff, Man.)–$2,565,014.32 ($2,898,466.18 incl. HST);
•Daryl’s Custom Landscapes and Landale Gardens (Fort Frances)–$3,133,366.10 ($3,540,703.70 incl. HST); and
•Manshield Construction (Thunder Bay)–$3,332,557.74 ($3,765,790.24 incl. HST).
Operations and Facilities manager Travis Rob said the tenders now will be submitted to Winnipeg-based architecture firm Scatliff + Miller + Murray, who, along with himself, will conduct independent reviews to make sure the components of the tenders are correct.
Scatliff + Miller + Murray will provide Rob with a letter of its recommendation on which bid is preferable.
He will have his own recommendation, as well.
The two parties also will discuss how to bring the project within budget.
“We’ll be looking at things like, ‘Do we not do ‘X’ to get us within that? [or] ‘Are we going to cut this, this, and this out?'” noted Rob.
Rob said Scatliff + Miller + Murray already has some ideas “ready to go” as far as ways to scale back on project costs.
“Based on just a really quick look at our low bid, I think we’re okay for most things,” he noted.
“But we’re going to have to pare down the square just a little bit, just to get it to fall in line.
“I don’t think we’re tremendously far away,” Rob added.
A second option is for town council to approve a bigger budget for the project, he noted.
A report on the project tender will go to the Operations and Facilities executive committee next week, with a follow-up recommendation to go to council at its April 24 meeting.
The work on the square is slated to start later this spring and be completed by Aug. 1.
The sidewalk replacements will be allowed to take a bit longer.